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Zach Paikin

Liberal Commentator

Zach Paikin is a grassroots Liberal activist and a Canadian political commentator. He was a candidate for National Policy Chair of the Liberal Party of Canada at the party's 2012 biennial convention. Paikin is a columnist for Canada's <em>iPolitics</em> and contributes research on international affairs to several Washington-based think tanks and institutes. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Global Affairs at the University of Toronto's Munk School.
A Former Prime Minister's Advice on Running

A Former Prime Minister's Advice on Running Canada

At a recent talk, John Turner hoarsely reminded his audience that politics are about people; something which seems to have been forgotten. Unlike the current strategies of Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair, the Prime Minister, in order to win, would have to unite and not divide Canada. Only when every region in Canada is on board with an idea can the country truly tackle the challenges it faces.
06/20/2012 05:48 EDT
Bob Rae: A Class Act Bows Out

Bob Rae: A Class Act Bows Out Gracefully

In what must have been a very difficult decision, interim Liberal leader Bob Rae has decided not to throw his hat into the ring as the party approaches its 2013 leadership convention. His decision not to seek the leadership of the Liberal Party has increased the chances that the party will be able to reinvent itself and focus on what counts: A classy move by a classy guy.
06/13/2012 05:07 EDT
Can Liberals Replace the Bleeding Red

Can Liberals Replace the Bleeding Red Tories?

On the national scene, the Red Tory is a dying breed. The decline of the Liberal Party of Canada in effect represents the downfall of the final remnant of interest-based politics, a type of politics in which elected officials attempt to bridge, rather than emphasize, the inherent gaps and differences present among the Canadian people.
06/06/2012 10:51 EDT
Liberals Need a Specific Platform if They Want to Stay in the

Liberals Need a Specific Platform if They Want to Stay in the Game

The Tories won the 2011 election by appealing to Canadians' pocketbooks, the NDP's rise can be attributed to the lack of a clear Liberal message, and Jack Layton's popularity from beyond the grave. But what are the Liberals supposed to capitalize on? Two words: the economy.
05/15/2012 04:52 EDT
Step Aside, Grandpa, You're Ruining the

Step Aside, Grandpa, You're Ruining the Party

Many members of the elder generation have the unmitigated gall -- or better put, the chutzpah -- to tell those of my generation that they're "too young" to run for positions of political leadership, even though my generation seeks to clean up the mess that they made -- a mess that will affect my generation but not theirs.
05/07/2012 12:13 EDT
If Harper Isn't Reducing Debt, What Is He

If Harper Isn't Reducing Debt, What Is He Doing?

By 2016, this Conservative government will have added $150 billion to the national debt and will still be spending at a rate higher than the Chrétien-Martin Liberals, even after inflation and adjusting for population growth. In other words, Canada in the years ahead may not be on as solid fiscal footing as it would like to be.
05/03/2012 03:03 EDT
How Bill Davis Saved

How Bill Davis Saved Canada

Canada's history since patriation in 1982 has been far from perfect. Yet the fact that the constitution was brought home with substantial provincial consent has led to a federation that is far more united than it would have been under other circumstances. Bill Davis -- Ontario's Progressive Conservative premier -- may well have saved Canada.
04/19/2012 11:12 EDT

"Je Me Souviens" Should Include the Charter

When the term "national unity" is brought up, people often think of the Quebec question. Quebeckers' opposition to patriation and to the Charter largely remains a myth. This doesn't change the fact, however, that Quebeckers have been voting for an opposition party at the federal level <em>en masse</em> for two decades.
04/17/2012 07:24 EDT
Can Mulcair Really Keep the Quebec

Can Mulcair Really Keep the Quebec Vote?

There seems to be consensus among political commentators that Thomas Mulcair is better placed than the leadership candidates he defeated to keep Quebec in the NDP fold. However, how much of the ability of the NDP to keep its Quebec seats is in Mulcair's hands?
03/27/2012 05:05 EDT
Liberals Need CPR, not the NDP's Dead

Liberals Need CPR, not the NDP's Dead Weight

Like the Conservative party, the NDP appeals to the politics of fear in order to win votes -- fear of Stephen Harper. The Liberal party tried just that in the 2011 election and it didn't work. The Liberals' primary message was rebuking the Conservatives for their undemocratic practices, not one offering a compelling vision for the future of the country.
03/16/2012 09:44 EDT
NDP Leadership

NDP Leadership Separatism

Over the weekend I attended an official NDP leadership debate in Montreal and two candidates took time to reaffirm their support for Quebec sovereignty. Either these New Democrats really mean what they say -- in which case they are dangerous -- or they don't, and hence don't deserve the support of Canadians for lying about their beliefs on the quintessential issue of national unity. Take your pick.
03/06/2012 12:28 EST
Harper Will Keep Playing Dirty, So Long as we Let

Harper Will Keep Playing Dirty, So Long as we Let Him

Robocalls are just the latest example of what Canadians have let the Tories get away with. The tragic lesson of modern Canadian politics is clear: Parliamentary crime pays. The Conservative party won its majority by gambling that Canadians didn't care about what goes on the Ottawa bubble. Harper's gamble paid off.
02/28/2012 02:00 EST
A Solution for Toronto's Embattled

A Solution for Toronto's Embattled TTC?

As a pilot project, why not let private enterprise build and operate some or all of Toronto's TTC new lines? Regulated competition could be introduced in order to keep prices down for consumers while the province would save the money. Fares could be lightly taxed in order to generate revenue for the province.
02/22/2012 03:52 EST
What the Drummond Report Didn't Tell

What the Drummond Report Didn't Tell Us

There are certain courses of action not outlined in economist Don Drummond's report about the Ontario economy that could help achieve long-term fiscal stability and redefine the way a Canadian province interacts with the rest of the federation and with the world.
02/16/2012 12:13 EST
Take Your Insults Back to the Playground, Ezra

Take Your Insults Back to the Playground, Ezra Levant

Ezra Levant's weekend column in the Sun comparing Nazi suppression to Canada's gun control laws showed a lack of journalistic professionalism that harms both his own cause and the advancement of civil discourse in Canada. An author of six books and a holder of a law degree should hold himself to a higher standard.
02/13/2012 05:13 EST
Don't Stick My Generation with Your Bad OAS

Don't Stick My Generation with Your Bad OAS Policy

The Prime Minister's efforts to save money on OAS may be laudable, but failing to address the demographic challenges and associated costs of the decades to come will have a serious impact on the young people of today. Our country's next generation will be burdened with debt and will lack the fiscal capacity to deal with the even longer-term issues.
02/07/2012 01:40 EST
Harper's Looming Health Care

Harper's Looming Health Care Fiasco

Harper's unilateral offer promises increases in federal funding that are unsustainable. With health care set to eat up 80 per cent of provincial budgets by 2035, if no substantial reforms are implemented we will have serious consequences for the ability of provinces to spend on departments other than health care.
01/31/2012 09:48 EST
Why Liberals Should Support Legalizing

Why Liberals Should Support Legalizing Pot

The Liberal Party needs to brand itself unambiguously as being the only political party in Canada that is both socially progressive and fiscally responsible. Legalizing marijuana means we'll be spending time and resources chasing real criminals so we can truly ensure safe streets and communities.
01/23/2012 12:19 EST
Too Young To Run? Not

Too Young To Run? Not Me.

Young Liberals are among the best equipped to modernize the party to achieve our goals -- after all, in the era of the 140-character tweet defining a party's message, who knows best how to master the hardware needed to win elections besides young people? .
01/12/2012 09:54 EST